By Nyesha Stone
The 45th President is showing more and more of his true colors every day since the day he’s taken office. Our economy has lost $11 billion due to the 35-day long government shutdown, which is the longest shutdown in U.S. history, according to a new analysis from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
The government is currently back open, but only for three weeks, then the country’s back we’re we started a few weeks back, according to the president. State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski is demanding that the state step up and by there for Wisconsinites, like other states have been doing for their residents.
Wisconsin has almost 30,000 federal workers who weren’t receiving pay during the shutdown, according to the Department of Workforce Development. And, for certain jobs, —such as TSA or airport traffic control— federal workers had to go work every day. Without pay, so they wouldn’t qualify for disability, Godlewski said.
“When you have over 1,000 people directly affected, there are more people indirectly affected,” said Godlewski. “We know that over a million people use social security and over a million people use Medicaid in Wisconsin.”
For 35 days, replacements cards weren’t being issued, overpayments weren’t being processed—meaning anyone over charged had no way to get their money back—, and there wasn’t anyone available to go to for answers.
“Wisconsin needs to do something,” before the next shutdown she said.
According to Godlewski, Illinois and Colorado partnered with banks to offer no interest loans to federal workers to make up for the missing pay they weren’t receiving. In New York, individual’s utility bills were being waived, and other states were providing state unemployment benefits, since some federal workers couldn’t receive regular unemployment benefits.
“We should be looking at all options available,” said Godlewski about the state’s unresponsiveness to the issues the shutdown is and will continue to cause. “It’s more economical to help [individuals cover] their utilities then turning it off.”
According to Godlewski, $25.7 million was lost in Wisconsin wages—about $10 million a week.
Most federal workers can take money out of their retirement with no penalty, for dire needs, and it is way past that, said Godlewski.
Last month, individuals getting help from the state were sent their February food stamps early because the government’s not sure when they’ll be issuing more. The longer the man in office fights against this country, the more people are affected daily.
No one wants to work for free, so why are individuals being forced to? Because funding is needed to build a wall that most of the country doesn’t want.
It’s time for the state to move forward and provide the resources the individuals residing in the state desperately need. We can’t grow if most of us are suffering.